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Old 10-17-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
fjtorres
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Best Buy introduces Tablet -- Nobody notices...

Best Buy *last week* introduced an Android tablet of their own and nobody noticed.
Well, engadget noticed but yawned and moved on:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/12/b...a-flex-tablet/

Since their Announcement via Facebook stirred no Apple-like frenzy, the smart folks at BB tried again, leaking a bit more info to Reuters:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...89F1L920121016

Unfortunately for them, it got lost in the shadow of MS Surface pre-order fever.

Still, I did manage to unearth a (skeptical) report at CNET with a bit of attached analysis and an actual *picture*:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57533784-94/best-buys-insignia-flex-tablet-to-get-mid-$200-price-tag/

Quote:
The Insignia Flex, which the electronics retail giant revealed on Facebook last week, will sell for between $239 and $259 when it hits the market on November 11, according to a Reuters report. The tablet will feature a 9.7-inch screen and be powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Quote:
However, the timing of this announcement is awkward at best for the struggling electronics retailer. With more than 1,400 stores, the company has been hard pressed to compete with online retailers. Already late to a party dominated by Apple and Samsung, Best Buy will also be competing with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, and even Toys R Us -- all of which have released new tablets recently or plan to do so presently.
The thing actually looks decent enough (not much chance of Apple suing them) and the specs they've leaked look adequate. Still unclear are a lot of crucial details like whether it is a generic Android tablet or a content fork. (Nobody noticed but BB actually owned Napster for a while and they still own Cinema Now.)
Screen resolution, RAM, storage, ports and expandability are all unknown which is probably why nobody is getting excited just yet.

With yet another 10in-class Android tablet hitting the sub-US$299 price point it is starting to look like a trend and a classic race-to-the-bottom. Somebody is going to bleed but when the dust settles we'll have a new definition of what entry-level is for low-end tablets.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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Hmmm... I didn't notice this thread

I don't know about this tablet. Best Buy's brand, Insignia, always struck me as cheap Chinese knockoffs; and I've avoided it. I could be wrong, but I just don't trust it for some reason.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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1 more android tablet? Who cares? ;D
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I don't know about this tablet. Best Buy's brand, Insignia, always struck me as cheap Chinese knockoffs; and I've avoided it. I could be wrong, but I just don't trust it for some reason.
Apparently their HDTVs for the last year or so have been decent. And cheap.
Without comple specs it would be hard to gauge the Flex's value, much les its impact. But thousands of stores showcasing it (and a likely Black Friday listing at $199) is bound to have some impact on the mainstream's expectations for Android tablet pricing.

And then there is the trend: Kindle FireHD9, very high specs and build quality at $299; followed by NookHD+, very high specs at $259; followed by BB Flex, decent specs??? at $239-259. (With regular Sales promos at $199, if BB follows typical Insignia marketting.)

Publishers are obsessed with preserving the perceive value of books--I'm thinking it is Name-brand Android tablet OEMs that need to be concerned about the perceived value of *their* tablets.

This dribs-n-drabs low profile intro of the Flex may be BB incompetence or it might be a stealth intro of a category-buster (even if... or *especially* its spec-sheet is weak).

For some reason I'm reminded of the Coleco ADAM...
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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Decent specs for the price. But, without actually seeing one in action, it will probably feel like it's held together with scotch tape and Elmer's glue. Unless their build quality is closer to the quality some of their more recent HDTV's (while much better than previous years, still not up to snuff from the bigger brands), of course.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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I have several Insignia products and the quality is good. I think the biggest problem right now is there are so many android tablets. Best Buy didn't do themselves any favors by building this one. They definitely need re-organization and a new leader.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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The 'race to the bottom' has already fallen far below this price. I bought two 7" tablets recently, one for US$89 and the other on sale at US$79. Both run ICS. Neither are content-locked although both had the Amazon Appstore app pre-installed rather than Google Play. (I installed the Google Play app & it works fine with it-so the content, while 'directed' towards Amazon isn't locked to it.) Neither has an ebook reader app or a video player app pre-installed. For me, this isn't a problem. For the average tablet buyer? I suspect that the bottom-line price of a tablet will depend on what they pre-install. Obviously the hardware isn't very expensive.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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It sounds like a waste of money for Best Buy. I'm really surprised they're still around.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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Insignia is decent, and but they too often seem to really push the race to the bottom, all the while just appear to be a "me too" or "also ran", with people buying more known brands.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
The 'race to the bottom' has already fallen far below this price. I bought two 7" tablets recently, one for US$89 and the other on sale at US$79.
The Flex is a 10-incher, not a 7incher, though.
Not many of those around as entry-level buys since most ten inch tablet vendors have been taking advantage of the iPad price umbrella.
Until a month or so ago, pre-FireHD, a 10 inch-class Android 4.x under $300 was a pipe dream or sold off the back of a truck in an alley.

If the Flex really hits $199 on Black Friday it's going to really raise a stink, regardless of the rest of its specs.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
The 'race to the bottom' has already fallen far below this price. I bought two 7" tablets recently, one for US$89 and the other on sale at US$79. Both run ICS. Neither are content-locked although both had the Amazon Appstore app pre-installed rather than Google Play. (I installed the Google Play app & it works fine with it-so the content, while 'directed' towards Amazon isn't locked to it.) Neither has an ebook reader app or a video player app pre-installed. For me, this isn't a problem. For the average tablet buyer? I suspect that the bottom-line price of a tablet will depend on what they pre-install. Obviously the hardware isn't very expensive.
All these 7" sub-$100 Android tablets have crappy screens with resolution of 800x480. If it weren't for that, they'd be a pretty nice deal. I've got a feeling BB put a crappy screen in theirs to keep the price down.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
But thousands of stores showcasing it (and a likely Black Friday listing at $199) is bound to have some impact on the mainstream's expectations for Android tablet pricing.
Best Buy only has roughly 1,400 stores. Where do the "thousands" come in?
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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Insignia is decent, and but they too often seem to really push the race to the bottom, all the while just appear to be a "me too" or "also ran", with people buying more known brands.
I own a couple of Insignia products. They are pretty decent quality for the price. I wouldn't classify Insignia as pushing the race to the bottom. I have purchased much more expensive products that didn't last half as long as the Insignia products I still own. In fact, I remember reading in 2010 that one of their picture frames was named among the NY Times best tech products of the year. While the Flex may not be able to compete with the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Samsung, like ftjorres indicated a $199 Black Friday offering could set off the holiday tablet war in which consumers end up the winners.

Last edited by obsessed2; 10-18-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:17 PM   #14
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I own a couple of Insignia products. They are pretty decent quality for the price. I wouldn't classify Insignia as pushing the race to the bottom. I have purchased much more expensive products that didn't last half as long as the Insignia products I still own. In fact, I remember reading in 2010 that one of their picture frames was named among the NY Times best tech products of the year. While the Flex may not be able to compete with the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Samsung, like ftjorres indicated a $199 Black Friday offering could set off the holiday tablet war in which consumers end up the winners.
If it is good and even if not cutting edge, there is a good chance for them to carve out a nitch market place.

For the consumer this maybe a great thing, getting a price war going between the big movers and shakers. Bad for us that payed for and just got our new toys, and then watch the price of their toy drop like a rock. (sorta)
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:33 PM   #15
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Nowadays only a high-res tablet or the Surface gets much attention. Even the Nook HD didn't get that much excitement.

Except for the price, this Insignia tablet really offers nothing new, so the consumer will find it hard to differentiate from the crappy cheap tablets out there.
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